Fleas and ticks: small trouble – big trouble
Ticks and fleas - a pair of parasites who sticking on our pets and sometimes also on us.
One of the common problems in raising a pet is the unwanted animals that sometimes come with it - the various parasites, especially ticks and fleas. These pests are small in size but can cause major problems and troubles. What are the health hazards of ticks and fleas? How do you get rid of them? On this and more in the next lines.
Tick - a brief introduction
The tick is a close relative of the spiders - if you do not believe the next time you see a tick you will count her legs and you will find that she has eight of them, like a spider
There has several ticks, but the most common is the brown tick. Its uniqueness is that it can reproduce in a home environment as opposed to other species that must reproduce in nature - on plant. The tick awaits a potential host on shrubs, but also on the ground or, if it is already at home, on suitable furniture. For the pet it will usually go up by climbing or "jumping" to its fur. The tick transcends the host, bites it while using a local anesthetic and then sticks to a blood vessel and feeds on it. There is a preference for the ears and neck area, but ticks can also be found elsewhere in the body. After the meal that sometimes lasts a few days, the tick leaves the host and turns to continue her life and go find another host for the next meal.
Only dogs have ticks, do not they?
This is not true. The common ticks does prefer to live on dogs and is therefore more common on dogs but is also "ready" to live on other animals. It can also be found on cats and other pets, on various farm animals, in many wild animals, and even on humans in rare cases. And what about fleas?
Fleas are parasitic insects that can not fly but make up for it by a big jump. Unfortunately for those who suffer from them, they have amazing bounce ability - they leap fast, long distances and high altitude (relative to their body size, up to 200 times their length!). Through the fur hair to find a suitable place to live. They feed on the host blood for one meal a day, usually. They lay eggs not on their host but in his place of residence-a burrow or, in our house, on and inside couches, where the dog or cat lay, and so on. The larvae need moisture and therefore the laying will occur in a humid environment; Adults prefer dryness and hot temperatures - another reason why they like to live in warm and pleasant homes. The common flea is the cat flea, which despite its name has no preference for a certain pet. In the wild he lives on rabbits, mongooses, jackals, and more at home he lives on dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets and other non-fish pets.
When ticks are common? And when the fleas?
The ticks and fleas prefer warm and dry weather and are therefore more common in spring and summer. In the spring, when the ticks and fleas return to activity as temperatures rise, there is also a lot of egg production. However, it is important to know that they can also be found outside the season. Although fleas prefer hot and dry weather (although the larvae actually need a humid environment during their development). However, since they are Living in homes is less affected by the weather and therefore can be found throughout the year, especially in well-heated homes. In winter their development is slower but still have to pay attention to their presence at home or on your pet.
Are there places where there are more ticks and fleas?
Ticks are mainly found in plants - bushes, tall grass and even on very low branches of trees or on the ground itself, sometimes.
The main source of fleas is other animals. Not only are wild animals or animals roaming - sometimes a dog that has an owner but is not properly treated can be a source of fleas who are ask for a new home - although in most cases these are eggs that fall from an infected dog and pass to your dog or cat.
How do I know that my dog is infected with ticks or fleas?
The first sign is simple: If the dog is scratching a lot, there is a chance that it has fleas or ticks. Too much engagement with the fur - bites and chewing - can indicate parasites. Even if he has only one flea - treat him immediately!
The most basic method is to look: look for the dog's body and see if ticks or fleas have moved to it. But is not always this method simple. Ticks are easy to see when they're big but hard to see when they're still small and it better if you always find them before they start sucking blood. Also, dogs with dark fur and / or long and tangled you can't find the ticks, even when they are large.
Fleas, of course, are even more complicated because they are small. A flea sign is finding their own secretions on the dog - yes, fleas also have needs - or small blood clots that result from stings.
In cases where there are many external parasites, there may already be symptoms such as:
Lack of appetite
Depression and apathy
Intense nervousness and even aggression
In extreme cases, death
I found a tick! Remove it?
Yes, but, watch out! If you find a tick, its removal requires attention and caution! Improper removal can cause injury to the dog's skin, release toxins into its bloodstream and environmental pollution. If you are not sure how to remove a tick, contact your veterinarian. In general it is only said that it should be removed carefully and slowly when holding (gently so as not to crush it) at the top of the tick.
Treating ticks and flea treatment, so what do you do?
The struggle against parasites should be divided into two parts: prevention and treatment:
How to prevent ticks and fleas from appearing on pets at home?
Keep the house clean and if possible dry as possible. Hairy carpets are a good place to live for fleas so you should consider if you want carpets at home.
Keeping pets in the house and not letting them out is clearly problematic in many ways, but it is important to understand that in most cases, pets "pick up" ticks and fleas outside the home.
This point, however, is relevant to those who are debating which pet to raise. When bringing a cat home it is important to decide in advance whether it will be a "house cat" or an "outside cat" - the question of ticks can be an important factor in your decision.
Tell the dog - A periodic visit to a dog's salon may not prevent ticks and fleas, but it is easier to find them and easier to clean the dog.
For those who have a garden: mow the grass, collect dry leaves and cuttings and pay attention to the status of pests throughout the year.
Treatment of fleas and ticks - There are also medical preparations for prevention:
Collar against ticks and fleas - with a life span of between one and six months, depending on the company that manufactures, the active ingredient and your dog's lifestyle. It is important to ensure that it is effective not only against ticks but also against fleas.
A flea ampoules - it causes a female to lay eggs that are defective and it effective for a month. It is important to make sure that your animal is not sensitive to the active ingredient in this medicine - consult your veterinarian before using it.
How do you get rid of ticks?
The existing preparations designed to destroy the ticks can be divided into several types:
Cleaning products such as shampoos, for example, remove ticks from the washed-up animal - the effectiveness is not complete (if any) but a clean pet is always a good thing.
Powders for pet dusting.
Ampoules for smearing material directly on the skin of the pet.
Spray for the dog - less suitable for dogs with long fur.
Medicines that can be swallowed by the pet.
Injections mainly for cases where the dog has many ticks.
Consult your veterinarian about the appropriate treatment for your pet and the frequency required for effective treatment. In any case, read the instructions carefully before using any material. These are substances that can sometimes be toxic to humans and / or other animals.
How do you get rid of fleas?
Very important: any flea treatment must also include full treatment of the infected animal's environment - if you do not clean the environment from fleas they will return to the dog or cat immediately after you have cleaned it!
Treatment of the infected animal includes various preparations. Some of the products mentioned above are good for ticks, good for fleas - cleaning products, ampoules, powders, sprays and injections. It is important to verify with your veterinarian that the treatment is effective against all parasites or that another treatment - or other active ingredient - should be chosen to be more effective in flea management.
Treatment in the environment includes:
Very thorough dust extraction from the floor, carpets (if any), sofas (and very important - under the sofas!) And all the corners of the house - especially the dark ones - are very fond of fleas.
Wash the floor with a good detergent.
Spraying the environment with a flea remedy - you should consult your veterinarian to choose the appropriate and effective remedy. Important: There are preparations that not only harmful fleas but also other animals and even humans, especially babies. Read the small details about each product you use.
In extreme cases, invite an exterminator.
It is also important to check if your pet has been infected with intestinal worms because of flea eating. Consult your veterinarian for appropriate treatment with intestinal worms. In general, It is important to know that external parasites often come with internal parasites.
External parasites such as fleas and ticks are a nuisance at best and harmful and even dangerous at worst. Do not neglect your pet and help her live a clean, parasitic life.
Hope we helped you! :)